What exactly is the purpose of having snare beds????

johnwesley

Silver Member
I see from time to time custom drum makers making a point of cutting wider beds to accommodate wider snare wires like 42 strand. What I don't understand is why? Not even clear on why snare beds are needed except maybe for those super sensitive Ludwigs, or Pearl free floaters that allow the snare wires to extend beyond the rim of the shell. As I look at my snare drums, the wires and the plates they're soldered to are a 1/4 inch from the outside of the shell and lay perfectly flat. So what's the purpose of snare beds?
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Without that small valley, the snares would sound dead. I ordered a Tama snare and had to replace it twice as the snare beds were so shallow, not even 1mm, that the wires would not vibrate. Had them cut to 2mm and was much better
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
It makes a slightly curved path across the bottom head where the snares go. Without it, the centre of the wires would hang down below the drum head, buzzing too loosely.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Most strainer mechanisms are a compromise. In an ideal world, the wire tensioning function and presentation to the head function would be separate. Under ideal conditions, there's very little benefit to snare beds, but in most applications, the snare beds aid in settling uneven forces / orientation of the wire assembly by creating a depression where the wire end plate can sit so as to present the main body of the wires in intimate contact with the head.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
......you said "intimate contact". Hee hee. Thanks Andy. I'm assuming the Premier flobeam and other such systems are a bit more suitable in creating that "intimate contact you mentioned.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Okay I'm curious. I know a snare bed can be too shallow or not wide enough, or both. What happens if the bed is too deep or wide? Anything?
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
Okay I'm curious. I know a snare bed can be too shallow or not wide enough, or both. What happens if the bed is too deep or wide? Anything?
I believe you can choke out the drum if the snare bed is too deep and/or wide, but I can't say I've ever actually experienced it.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Okay I'm curious. I know a snare bed can be too shallow or not wide enough, or both. What happens if the bed is too deep or wide? Anything?
It can make the reso a real pain to tune properly. I have a snare like this with HUGE beds.. When the reso is cranked to about 400hz there is still wrinkles where the snare bed is, I can not get the tension even on this drum for the life of me. It still sounds awesome, but it bothers me and sometimes takes longer to tune.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I never saw the need for strain on the snare wires themselves. What I do like is the snare wires pulling up on the reso head. I don't understand why the Rogers Dynasonic thing is even necessary. The simple method that 99% of the snare drums uses works great. I never got along with the SS strainers because I can't pull the wires tight to the head. I like that sound. I don't see the upside to the SS strainers.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
My Gretsch Catalina Club snare is bedless. Sounded decent for the most part, but I had a lot of snare buzz and tuning issues with it. I sanded a small bed on it and it did help with the tuning & snare buzz. Nothing too deep or wide though.
 

DrumDoug

Senior Member
My Gretsch Catalina Club snare is bedless. Sounded decent for the most part, but I had a lot of snare buzz and tuning issues with it. I sanded a small bed on it and it did help with the tuning & snare buzz. Nothing too deep or wide though.
I don't use my Catalina Club Snare because a rimshot will set the snares buzzing for a couple seconds, no matter how I tune or how tight the wires. I'm not too handy with woodworking. Was it hard to sand a snare bed? How would I go about it?
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I use standard Pure Sound 20 strand wires on it. Mark an 8" bed with the snare strap right in the middle. Use 220 grit sandpaper and take your time sanding between the marks putting more pressure at the center of the marks & less at the ends. Lay the shell on a flat surface and shine a light on the inside. Once you begin seeing light shine out from where you're sanding, you're well on your way.

It was a lot of trial & error to get it sounding the way I wanted, so be ready to take the bottom head off quite often. Once you get it set though...you'll never have to touch it again.

Hope this helps.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Ludwig Supersensitive was the BEST system ever. R.I.P.

If you don't see the benefit, you don't need it.
Please explain what I am missing. I am genuinely interested in concrete reasons why you feel they are the best.

IMO, if it was that great, it would be much more widely used.

My reasons against the SS is you can't put much pressure at all on the reso head via the wires. Maybe that's the design goal, but to my ear it narrows the sonic possibilities. Which in my mind is less sensitive, not super sensitive. Dealbreaker right there.

Correct me if I am wrong, but the only real adjustment I can see, is tension running the along length of the wires. Which I don't see the benefit of. If someone could explain why this is so important, I'm all ears. After a certain amount of tension, what does any more do? Since the wires extend past the head, only the most subtle tension can be introduced to the reso head via the wires. IMO, the tension on the reso heads, by the wires, are a really usable adjustment that I actually need for my sound. For certain military type snare sounds, nothing gets there like wires pulled really tight against the reso. I miss that on the SS.

People say that too much tension on the reso chokes the drum, and I agree. What I contend, is that if I keep tightening the wires past the point of choke, it no longer chokes and the tension on the wires alter the sound...to my liking. That's impossible with the Ludwig SS.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
Correct me if I am wrong, but the only real adjustment I can see, is tension running the along length of the wires. Which I don't see the benefit of.
They can also be adjusted for their vertical travel, although that is not something easily done. It's something you would only do occasionally, not during a performance.

Being able to adjust the tension of the wires independently of their pressure against the snare side head is the point. If you like really tight wires pressing against the drum and choking it, you're not the target audience for this snare drum. I have never heard anyone say that their goal is to squash the snare side head with super tight wires. I can't imagine a drum sounding good in that sort of setup. To each their own I guess.

The other benefit of the Supersensitive mechanism is the ease of replacing wires, with no need to mess with strings/cables/straps and getting them adjusted perfectly perpendicular and centered on the drum. Fool-proof.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
No one talking about the Premier Flobeam parallel system. I find it to be the best ever of all the drop downs. BUT....it's a pain to disassemble for repairs.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
I loved the Premier 2000 snare drum, and wanted one desperately back in the late 70s. I was only put off by those slotted tension rods. The strainer seemed to work great, and those drums sounded really nice.

 
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